A report from Reuters suggests the Department of Justice could file a lawsuit against Apple today over alleged ebook price fixing. Publishers involved in the price-fixing scheme are supposedly settling with the government, while Apple has stayed out of the negotiations. As a result, Apple could face legal action by the government as early as Wednesday. Reuters reached out to Apple and the company declined to comment.
Update: The Justice Department released its official statement on Wednesday afternoon. The DOJ confirmed it filed an antitrust lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York against Apple and five book publishers including Simon & Schuster, HarperCollins, Hachette, Penguin Group (USA) and Macmillan.
Hachette, HarperCollins, and Simon & Schuster agreed to a settlement for alleged ebook pricing fixing, while Apple, MacMillan and Penguin Group are fighting the charges in court. The settlement requires these publishers to let Amazon and other retailers lower the price of digital books. It also ends "their anticompetitive most-favored-nation agreements" with Apple and other ebook sellers.